Did you know more people today expect business leaders (as opposed to the government) to save the day?
That’s according to the 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer, an online survey of 36 thousand respondents from 28 countries. Comparatively, it’s 61% who trust business to only 52% who think the government can fix things.
The biggest trust, however, at 77%, was employees who trust their employer. Maybe not that they can fix it, but they are working in the right direction, doing the right thing.
What does that mean for your small business?
I’m a marketer, so I will naturally take things from one arena and apply it to another (e.g. take a study of opinions about big corporate leaders and extrapolate that as a directive for small business owners too). I also believe we can only control our own actions. And that we can’t do nothing (double negative intended) in the face of injustice and problems we see in the world.
Let’s Take Problem Solving, for Example.
As entrepreneurs, we are adept at problem-solving, or at least have a process that works for us to drive things forward. One of my clients and co-author Jerry Witkovsky (See below…book coming June 21!) is a former General Director of JCC Chicago. He is constantly looking at issues in the world through a business lens and considers how to solve them.
At 94, he says “don’t die until you’re dead,” and still has new ideas on how to leave his community, the world, better than when he came into it. “Always leave your campsite better than you found it” is how this former camp director frames it.
Try this Exercise: Apply a 5 Step Problem Solving Process to Your Problems. To THE Problems
Mike Figliuolo, is the Founder and Managing Director of thoughtLEADERS, LLC. In this article from Inc., he lays out a five-step process for problem-solving: defining your root problem, breaking it down to its core components, prioritizing solutions, conducting your analysis, and selling your recommendation internally.
When it comes to mass shootings (this can work on more immediate business operations concerns, too), pinpointing the root problem is not the same as finding the root cause. That’s step 2: Exploring the issue from multiple angles (See 6 Things Really Thoughtful Leaders Do.) Step 3 is generating hypotheses and prioritizing proving them (e.g. would universal background checks or banning AK-57s make a difference?) For conducting analysis—who can you engage in research? Sharing solutions? Can this be a company-wide (or family-wide) project?
The final part is advancing your answer. To whom? It may be in editorials, meetings with your elected officials, or conversations with friends. At least in the process of identifying problems and researching you have information, you’ve made connections, you’ve started a chain reaction with your actions. If anything good comes out of it, that’s something.
Take Baby Formula, for Example
For example, what if United Airlines looked at the shortage of baby formula as the problem to address. The issues are supply chain—the ability to move products. Hey! We have planes! And, voilà, “Operation Fly Formula” is born, to fly 300K pounds of Kendamil infant formula to the US.
Our ideas and actions may not be so grandiose, but we do have the ability to impact our own sphere of influence no matter how big or immediate.
And the process of identifying and researching a problem is something you can do. It’s a part of the every day of running a business.
What will you do?